By – Dr. Priti Gupta, Senior Consultant in Fertility & IVF services, First Step IVF (Centre for Reproductive Medicine)
Nowadays, many women delay starting families for a variety of reasons. As a result, some of them subsequently experience difficulties conceiving naturally. Women’s hormonal clocks keep on ticking as they get older, signaling that time is running out.
It is fairly obvious that pregnancy poses more difficulties the longer a woman waits to start a family. The ability for women to freeze their eggs and use them later when they are ready to have a baby has allowed medical science to shift the tide.
Difference between Social & Clinical Egg Freezing
Women can freeze their embryos for social or medical reasons, referred to as social egg freezing and medical egg freezing, respectively.
When we refer to “Social Egg Freezing,” we are implying that a woman can preserve her eggs for non-medical reasons, taking into account her job advancement, academic pursuits, inability to find the ideal partner, and lack of emotional and financial capability. Contrarily, when we use the term “clinical egg freezing,” it refers to women who are dealing with medical conditions like cancer that necessitate chemotherapy or radiation treatment, low ovarian reserve, a family history of early menopause, etc.
Technically, medical/ clinical egg freezing and social egg freezing are the same. The primary distinction is the reason for egg storage itself.
What Is Egg Freezing?
In order to remove and securely store female eggs, a process known as egg freezing, also known as human oocyte cryopreservation is used. By doing this, women can eventually serve as their own egg donors during the IVF process when natural conception may be more challenging or unlikely. The outcomes in terms of producing healthy offspring are the same whether the eggs are fresh or frozen.
In recent years, egg-freezing technology has undergone significant advancements that have raised public knowledge of the procedure and made it more accessible to women who are career-oriented.
With the most recent form of freezing, known as Vitrification, more than 85% of previously frozen eggs now make it through the warming process. When eggs are frozen before age 35, pregnancy chances are at their highest. Consequently, freezing enough eggs—ideally 20 to 30—while they are still in good condition is a feasible option to improve reproductive flexibility and raise the likelihood of getting pregnant in the future.
Young women should think about egg storage if they wish to delay having children.
The quality and amount of a woman’s eggs decline with age, so freezing eggs at a younger age increases the likelihood that they will be of good quality when required at a more advanced age. A woman can do this to protect her fertility either due to social or medical reasons. It is best to talk with your fertility specialist and get all of your questions answered before moving forward if you have concerns or queries.